Photo: University of Maryland athletics
Photo: University of Maryland athletics
Juwann Winfree didn’t have to look far to find examples of what he could become at Colorado.
A four-star receiver from Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, Winfree has yet to announce where he will sign on Wednesday’s national letter of intent day, but all signs point to him coming to Boulder, where he would hope to follow in the footsteps of two of the best receivers in CU history.
“I’ve seen their recent success in past years with other receivers, Nelson Spruce and Paul Richardson,” The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Winfree said of CU. “I’ve seen what the offense is doing; they’re throwing the ball. And, I see potential with the team of where it can go.
“I feel like I can contribute to helping change the program, along with the people that they have.”
Winfree said he will announce his decision on Wednesday, ideally making his final stop on what has been quite a ride in college already.
Highly touted coming out of New Jersey’s Dwight Morrow High School in 2014, Winfree signed with Maryland and caught 11 passes for 158 yards and two touchdowns as a true freshman. According to the Baltimore Sun, he was suspended for the final two games of 2014 for violating the student-athlete code of conduct, and last June he was suspended indefinitely.
Winfree wound up at Coffeyville this past season, catching 55 passes for 837 yards and seven touchdowns.
He then committed to Pittsburgh on Dec. 20, but had second thoughts. He visited CU on Jan. 22 and Memphis this past weekend and announced Monday he had pulled his commitment to Pitt.
“I wanted to give myself more time and not rush my decision,” he said. “I felt I rushed it a little bit (in December). I felt real comfortable with Pittsburgh and saw it as a home, but I wanted to make sure I was 100 percent committed to a school, wherever I go. I don’t want to have any doubts.”
Winfree said that in addition to CU and Memphis, several schools, including Mississippi State and Washington State, have contacted him this week, and he said he is weighing his options.
It is expected, however, that Winfree will sign with CU, where he already has several connections. In fact, if the Buffs had any concerns about Winfree’s off-the-field issues at Maryland, those concerns were presumably put to rest through those connections.
Strength and conditioning coach Drew Wilson and intern Corey Edsall both came to CU from Maryland, where they worked with Winfree during the 2014 season.
Winfree’s head coach at Maryland, Randy Edsall, is a friend of CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, and his position coach with the Terps, Keenan McCardell, is a friend of CU co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini.
Winfree also got a seal of approval from his offensive coordinator at Maryland, Mike Locksley.
“(MacIntyre) spoke with coach Locksley, and coach Lox spoke highly of me,” Winfree said.
At CU, Winfree would also have a former Coffeyville teammate with him, after linebacker Drew Lewis committed to CU last week. Lewis and Winfree visited CU together last month.
Winfree would be the highest-rated player in CU’s recruiting class, and he would add significant firepower to an already talented group of receivers. Winfree has three years to use his final two seasons of eligibility.
While most of CU’s class seems to be set, the Buffs are waiting on several others taking their decisions to the wire. Defensive end Keanu Saleapaga has narrowed his choices to CU and BYU. Running back/linebacker Beau Bisharat, a former Stanford commit, visited CU last week, and has several suitors. And, linebacker Fua Pututau, from Cottonwood Senior High in Utah, is also considering the Buffs. He and teammate Pookie Maka visited CU this past weekend, and Maka committed to the Buffs. Pututau is also considering BYU and Utah. … Quarterback Davis Webb, a transfer from Texas Tech who has verbally committed to CU, is expected to sign a financial aid agreement with CU on Wednesday. While not as binding a national letter of intent, the financial aid agreement will allow CU to talk publicly about Webb.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at email@example.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.